Every foot treatment we offer at Cockermouth Chiropody/Podiatry is tailored to the individual.
We offer a wide range of services – from simple nail care to nail surgery, as well as minor procedures carried out under local anaesthetic, and specialist biomechanics and prescription orthotics.
Every consultation includes a full health check of your feet and lower limbs – we look at everything from your symptoms to your circulation, and give you a diagnosis, treatment and advice.
Here’s a sample of our most common treatments:
Many people suffer from painful corns and calluses which can seriously affect the way we walk. If they’re not corrected, they can lead to knee, hip and back problems.
Corns are plugs of hard skin that develop as a result of friction and pressure. Sometimes they are caused by poorly fitting footwear, but also by some forms of foot deformity such as clawed toes or bunions.
There are three types of corns:
Hard corns (heloma durum) - often found on top of toe joints or underneath the heads of your metatarsals, the five long bones in your foot. They can feel like you’re walking with a stone in your shoe.
Seed corns (heloma millare) – they can form little clumps on the plantar (bottom) surface of the foot usually around the metatarsals but sometimes on the heels and midfoot. They look like small seeds, hence the name.
Soft corns (heloma molle) - always found in between toe spaces, usually between the fourth and fifth toes. They can be very painful and difficult to treat in one session due to the toe joints rubbing together, but generally padding between the toes and a change of footwear, combined with removal of the offending hard skin, can be a successful remedy. They’re said to be ‘soft’ because the area often doesn’t get chance to dry out because of the proximity of the adjacent toe.
A callus is a broader thickened layer of hard skin which is usually the result of friction and pressure.
We can relieve your pain in the short term by removing the patches of hard skin. Long term relief is possible if we review and improve the style and fit of your shoes, sometimes with simple insoles that distribute your weight across the foot. Occasionally, made-to-measure orthotic devices can help if it is necessary to change the biomechanics of the foot.
Other good ways of preventing corns and calluses are:
Daily use of a good moisturising cream or emollient like E45, aqueous cream or, any specific foot lotion to keep the skin hydrated and soft.
Stop smoking - smoking seriously affects blood circulation and therefore the quality of skin on the feet. We often see heavy smokers in the clinic with much larger and more painful corns than in those who don’t smoke.
Buy suitable footwear. Wear shoes that allow enough room for the toes to move around without any pressure on them. Sadly, many ladies’ shoes won’t allow this, but don’t worry, you can wear fashionable footwear occasionally without major problems. Just don’t wear them all the time.
Lots of people struggle to look after their toe nails. They may have an injury, arthritis, poor eyesight or be too stiff – even pregnancy can prevent you reaching your feet.
There can be other issues too, like thick unmanageable nails due to a fungal infection or damaged nail beds. Some diabetics suffer from impaired circulation or a loss of sensation in their feet.
At Cockermouth Chiropody/ Podiatry we are able to manage nail care safely and professionally. Our equipment and skill enables us to deal with the most awkward and unruly nail conditions with minimum discomfort to our clients.
Painless nail reduction can help when trauma or fungal infections has made the nails become very thick. We can reduce or thin the nails to a manageable state. We will also offer advice on the management of fungal nails to cure the condition and keep it under control.
Ingrowing toe nails can be very painful and can be caused by ill fitting shoes, trauma, poor nail cutting technique or the shape of the nail because of hereditary factors. Generally treatment is of a conservative nature where the offending nail ‘spike’ that is digging into the skin is removed as gently and painlessly as possible.
Occasionally, we will need to carry out nail surgery where all or part of the nail is removed under local anaesthetic. We then apply a strong acid called phenol to the nail bed to prevent the nail from growing back. This is generally a last resort but very often a long term solution to problematic and recurring ingrowing nails. Our advice is to come and see us as soon as your ingrowing toenail becomes an issue.
Nail surgery is an effective long-term solution to painful, recurring ingrowing toenails or uncomfortable thickened nails.
The procedure is only carried out after an assessment of the vascular and neurological health of your lower limbs, combined with an assessment of drug interactions and your overall health.
We will use a local anaesthetic is used to numb the toe or toes, with two injections at the base of the toe. It is often the most uncomfortable part of the procedure but only lasts a short time and is essential if the client doesn’t want to feel pain.
A tourniquet is then applied and either whole or part of the nail is removed using very fine instruments to minimise tissue damage and post operative pain. Phenol is applied to the nail bed in measured doses to prevent re-growth of the nail. The toe is finally dressed, then we give you full instructions and a dressing pack to use at home.
We’ll advise you how to care for your toe while it heals too. You’ll need to consider your job, if it’s an active one, and also your exercise regime, and your holiday plans. Salt water is good – but sand isn’t!
Post-operative care at Cockermouth Chiropody/Podiatry is included in the procedure fee and we won’t discharge you until we are happy healing is complete.
A verruca is a wart on the foot. They are generally on the sole, but can be found elsewhere on the foot.
They are caused by HPV, or Human Papiloma Virus, and usually disappear of their own accord after two to three years, particularly with children. Verrucae are contagious and are generally caught from walking through communal changing areas.
For painful or stubbornly persistent verruca, there are a number of treatment options available
At Cockermouth Chiropody/Podiatry, we offer verruca needling performed under local anaesthetic. This is a procedure where the verruca is punctured several times with a small needle to cause bleeding and stimulate the body’s immune system to resolve the problem. As the procedure is performed under local anaesthetic it does not hurt and studies have found that patients experienced minimal post operative pain.
Verruca needling is an effective treatment, often working following the first treatment. Patients can remove the dressing the within three days and continue as normal. The success rate is 70%.
Acid therapy sees silver nitrate, salicylic acid or, as a last resort, monochloroacetic acid, applied to the verruca after the overlying callus is removed and checked and repeated as required. This can be a painful and lengthy process, depending on the depth of the lesion.
Suffocation sees us starve the verruca of oxygen and this can be a low cost treatment option using several methods - duct tape and nail varnish have been found to be effective if a little troublesome to apply!
One thing you should never to do verrucae is file them. Some over-the-counter treatments will tell you to do so, but we find this seems to spread them.
These are caused by a growth of fungal spores which irritate the skin. They live naturally on the feet but can multiply if the conditions are right. They love warm, moist conditions so you need to keep the feet as cool and dry as possible and change socks and shoes regularly - even part way through the day.
Anti-fungal powder can be dusted on to the socks and shoes, sandals help in warm weather, and pharmacists sell over-the-counter anti-fungal sprays and creams which can be effective treatments.
Come and see us at Cockermouth Chiropody / Podiatry for a professional plan of action.
Prevention is definitely better than cure with chilblains. They are caused by capillaries being being starved of blood if you heat your cold feet too quickly.
Other circulatory conditions such as Raynaud Syndrom predispose people to this condition. It is best to keep the feet at as constant a temperature as possible and not apply direct heat when they are cold.
If chilblains do develop, most chemists will stock over the counter creams such as Balmosa, but these are only useful if the skin is not broken. Chilblains will eventually heal on their own but you’re welcome to ask us for advice.
Whether you’re suffering from flat feet, general heel pain, sports injuries, or need gait analysis, we can investigate and treat a wide range of issues with custom-made insoles or orthotics.
We specialise in looking after patients with Mortons Neuroma nerve pain, plantar fasciitis heel pain, and carry out tissue stress biomechanical assessments and musculoskeletal podiatry.
Today nail diseases can be treated permanently and successfully with nail cosmetic treatments.
This is possible thanks to the development of modern corrective materials. We use a product called LCN to restore the toe nail partially or completely with an attractive cosmetic result. The product is a light-curing synthetic resin which is an elastic gel that can adjust to the movements of the nails and feet. The artificial nail feels completely natural, since it fits perfectly to the natural nail.
Here at Cockermouth Chiropody / Podiatry, we will determine the individual shade of the resin according to the disease and problem so we can disguise or improve the nail bed colour.
We use a local anaesthetic to numb your toes during nail surgery to treat conditions such as ingrowing toe nails and painful thickened nails. We also use it for treating a verruca or for other procedures which will cause you pain unless we numb the area.
Nobody enjoys injections, but the sting of the injection only lasts for a moment and, once the area is numb, you can’t feel a thing.
We will consider your full medical history, your blood circulation and drug interactions are all considered before using local anaesthesia to ensure your total safety.
We know that diabetes can and does affect the quality and function of blood circulation so it’s really important to have annual diabetic checks, including thorough assessment of the feet.
At Cockermouth Chiropody / Podiatry we offer vascular and neurological assessments for accurate diagnosis of diabetic foot complication risks. We can then communicate this to your GP or local Diabetic Foot Multidisciplinary Team.